Tag Archives: luxury watch

Interview: Laurent Dordet for La Montre Hermès

The new head of Hermès Watches is hoping a more feminine touch, added with the fashion group’s own in-house know-how, will help it navigate through the turbulence rocking the sector.

Laurent Dordet, who took the helm of the watch division at the famous Paris fashion house last March, told AFP in an interview he wants to focus even more heavily on women’s timepieces, which already account for 80 percent of the brand’s sales.

“We plan to really develop feminine creation,” the 47-year-old said, adding that the brand aimed to explore a range of aspects of women’s watches, including the use of jewels on the timepieces.

World-famous for its silk scarves and iconic handbags, Hermès is eager to expand its share of the luxury watch market.

So Dordet, who took over after his predecessor Luc Perramond moved over to Ralph Lauren after six years at the helm, is planning to shake things up a bit and reorganize.

“But not through acquisitions,” he stressed, pointing out that the tough times for Swiss watchmakers were not ideal for major new investments.

Slim d Hermes Perspective Cavaliere_red & yelow

The Slim d’Hermes Perspective Cavaliere trades on a popular motif in the fashion line

After years of euphoria with booming sales in Asia, Swiss watchmakers have recently been hard-hit by collapsing watch exports to their top markets China and Hong Kong, as a strengthening Swiss franc has led to exploding production costs. So instead of looking out for new acquisitions, Hermès Watches is taking a good, hard look within.

“We have development ideas for certain exceptional skill sets, using our own Swiss and French workshops,” Dordet explained.

He pointed to a series of colorful models presented at the Baselworld 2014 watch show last year called Arceau Millefiori — or one thousand flowers — created in cooperation with Hermes affiliate Cristalleries de Saint-Louis, France’s oldest glass and crystal manufacturer.

The watches are equipped with unconventional crystal dials and covers inspired by 19th century paperweights, giving the illusion of a real bed of flowers.

Speaking in Brugg, on the outskirts of the northwestern Swiss town of Biel — a tradition-imbued watch metropolis — Dordet said the organizational changes needed included better integrating past acquisitions.

High-end purchases

Over the past decade, Hermes has made several purchases aimed at boosting its watchmaking credibility.

In 2006, it snapped up 25 percent of Vaucher Manucture Fleurier, a prestigious Swiss watch movement maker, before buying Nateber, which designs and manufactures watch dials, in 2012, and a year later pocketing Joseph Erard, which specializes in luxury watch cases. “Our first step will be to consolidate these skill-sets and digest them.”

Movement_Slim_Perpetual calendar_Claude Joray

Hermes uses proprietary mechanical movements in some watches, as seen here in the Slim d’Hermes Perpetual Calendar. Dordet wants to increase the internal know-how to support the core audience of women collectors.

Observers say Dordet’s profile gives an indication of the direction Hermès would like to see its watch brand take.

While his predecessor Perramond had climbed through the watchmaking ranks, spending part of his career at LVMH-owned Swiss luxury watch brand Tag Heuer, the new Hermès Watches chief has a largely in-house background with little timepiece experience. Having joined Hermes in 1995, he has spent most of his career working with textiles and precious leathers.

“Going for an in-house candidate might mean they are looking at this more from the fashion end,” Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox told AFP. The question is whether the female fashion focus will be enough to boost sales in an overall morose market.

In October, Swiss watch exports plunged 12.3 percent, according to data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, suggesting that retailers have accumulated too much of a backlog and are hesitant to refill their storerooms ahead of the holidays.

In this context, Dordet said he planned to be more selective in terms of where watches could be sold, adding the brand would prioritize Hermès’ own boutique network. “This is a network that has proven very resilient during difficult times,” he said.

The luxury watch sector has meanwhile just seen sales in France drop off a cliff, following the November 13 attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead.

Dordet said he was bracing to see how long the lull would last. “This is yet another element of instability in a market that does not need any more.”

Shock Value: Ulysse Nardin FreakLab

Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin rocked the world of watches in 2001 with the original Freak timepiece (a watch without dial, crown and hands) and now offers something a little different with the Ulysse Nardin boutique edition FreakLab. The FreakLab made its global debut at BaselWorld this year, bringing yet more innovations to watchmaking, including a newly centralized balance wheel. Collectors of course will recall that the original Freak had an off-centered escapement assembly, somewhat balancing the rest of the gear train visible dial-side. Features-wise, the FreakLab also includes the very first date display in the Freak line and new proprietary shock absorption system, UlyChoc. Indeed the in-house calibre UN-210 is very impressive indeed, with hairspring, escape wheels and anchor in silicon

Considering that the Freak was a monster from the start, it is hard not to think of the date here as a missed opportunity. The Freak deserves a date function every bit as extreme as its other timekeeping functions. No doubt adding a date function was challenging but we think the watchmakers should have thought about how to deliver an extraordinary date function. The limited edition (99 pieces only) version, exclusive to Ulysse Nardin boutiques around the world, also adds a dimension of material experimentation. The case middle and lugs are in blackened titanium while the bezel is in carbon fiber. We are not sure what process has been applied to get this finish on the titanium but we are willing to bet it is not anodizing! Likewise, we are unsure what the effect of having the balance at the center of the watch is and we won’t speculate here. Nevertheless, a central escapement seems like a good idea, if we only think of the escapement. This sentiment is amplified when one thinks of this movement, which has a massive mainspring beneath the exposed gear train and escapement methodically and merrily going about their dance of time.



  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, date
  • Power reserve: 7 days
  • Movement: Mechanical, ultra-thin, manual-winding, calibre CRMA6
  • Water resistance: NA
  • Material: Titanium and carbon fiber, with rubber strap
  • Limited to 99 pieces

Interview: Max Büsser for MB&F

A decade of fantastical watchmaking later, MB&F’s Maximilian Büsser reflects on his road to rekindling our child-like curiosity with his avant-garde Horological Machines and Legacy Machines.

Some watch journalists have met Büsser so many times that they (including Luxuo’s Associate Publisher) just call him Max. Now this isn’t because Max is everyone’s best friend. In fact it is about sincerity. Max is nothing if not sincere, even when making a sales pitch. He can have very specific objectives and hew extremely closely to a carefully crafted script but he doesn’t spin the sorts of marketing tales that we typically expect from the more charismatic of watchmaking folks.

In this interview with the man who puts the MB in MB&F, originally published in Men’s Folio Singapore, we discover the truth of that statement.

Is your motivation still the same as 10 years ago?

It’s different. When I created MB&F, there was a lot of rage and anger. It was a rebellion against the industry – “How can they do such boring stuff all the time? I want to create something incredible!” Now, it’s not that at all. Now, it’s a creative adventure, which is all pleasure. Don’t get me wrong; we’ve had a lot of tough moments over the last 10 years, we’ve stumbled many times. But what’s important is we’ve always gotten back up on our feet, and each time we did, we were stronger. There’s virtually no more anger 10 years after, so it’s good.

MB&F Horological Machine No. 6: Space Pirate

According to Max, the HM6 (above) is the craziest watch MB&F have ever created

You said that you’ve achieved the size you wanted for MB&F, what then is next for the brand?

That’s funny because most people ask, “If you’re not growing, what’s going to happen?” Well, this year we’re doing 17 launches, 19 the next, but we’re not growing! We’re just being more creative, reinvesting every cent of what we make into creating, being smarter and getting out of our comfort zones. The goal is to create, not money or growth, and that’s rare. I’ve become addicted to creating. Production, sales, that’s all just ‘necessary evil’ to me; creating is the cool stuff. But I must admit this change in my life. From a 100 per cent creator, I’m now a creator at MB&F and a curator with my M.A.D. Galleries, and both give me equal pleasure.

How do you keep the creative streak going?

It’s an addiction. I’ve discovered over the last 10 years that this is my story I’m writing. I’m not doing this for the shareholders or the business, I’m doing it for myself. And on top of that, I’ve done a ton of other things I never expected to. If you had told me back then that I would one day create a round watch, I would have said, “Never! The rage!” Now I’ve created a music box, a clock, and an art gallery. So you evolve, and maybe some day, I don’t want to create anymore, but I doubt it. That’s not the way I function.

MB&F stands for Max Büsser & Friends. Did you ever take a step back to wonder why these “Friends” were willing to embark on this journey with you?

The initial Friends who joined me didn’t do so because I made them believe it was going to be a great journey. I didn’t promise them anything. They joined me because we already had a lot of pleasure and fun working together at Harry Winston. More importantly, they knew I was extremely trustworthy. When I say something, I’d do it. So they went into it with minimal risks. What we bring to the “Friends” is we take them out of their routine, because they’re all working in an industry where brands are doing more or less the same things and products look more or less the same. It’s funny because initially I had to jumpstart them, push them out of their comfort zones. Now, four or five years later, the same people are coming to me looking for the next project. So I brought to them a pleasure in working that they perhaps did not have with mainstream brands.

MELCHIOR – MB&F by L’Epée 1839

Melchior (above) is one of MB&F’s 10th anniversary pieces

What gave you the idea for three-dimensional timekeeping?

I don’t know actually! It was something I wanted to explore. I have to give credit to Felix Baumgartner of Urwerk, who blew me away with the UR-103. That sort of opened the door for me and made me realise that I adored what he’d done, and that I’d love to do something similar. So I owe Felix a lot.

Do you see your Horological Machines as inhabiting the realm of horology or art?

It’s really a cross-junction of both. The art aspect lies in the fact that it’s a selfish, creative process. It’s about expressing what I want to express, there is absolutely zero commercial considerations involved. The watchmaking comes when we deconstruct traditional watchmaking and reconstruct it into a piece of mechanical art. So for me, watchmaking is the canvas and the brush. I can’t sing, paint or make a sculpture, but give me the chance to rework a watch movement into something crazy, and it comes naturally. I don’t know why I can do that – it’s a gift.

Which of the Horological Machines is most representative of MB&F?

I’m a pretty bipolar individual, so I have to say there are two. Clearly, in the iconic sense of what has ‘ruffled’ the industry, the HM6 Space Pirate is the craziest piece of watchmaking we’ve done to date. At the same time, we are the creators of legacies, and the very first LM1 (Legacy Machine) is going to be an iconic piece going forward. I think it’s proof that you can be creative in the space of a very classic timepiece.


The LM Perpetual is the latest time sculpture from MB&F, its first perpetual calendar

Would it be fair to say that one of the strengths of your timepieces is the storytelling?

I’m not a movement creator or a designer, so I get upset when we win design prizes – except for the Red Dot Award, that was pretty cool. But because we create concepts, you’re right to say there’s a story. I have a little issue with the word “storytelling”, because for me, that’s having a boring product and spinning an angle to try to make it interesting. We have great products with real stories, and we spend our time telling those stories – the product is the story.

And a lot of them are influenced by science fiction.

People think I’m a sci-fi geek when I’m not at all. They’re inspired by my childhood. My defence mechanism for being an only child who’s always lonely was to have an incredible imaginary life, and that’s being Captain Kirk or Han Solo defeating the Death Star. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to see the next Star Wars, that’s not who I am! When you’re a kid, everything is rich and vivid, and since my creativity is also my psychotherapy, I basically delved into that part of my life to revisit what made me happy then.

“A creative adult is a child who survived” – how did you preserve your inner child?

A hundred per cent of all children are creative: They sing, they dance, they draw. Then, 90 per cent of them become boring, uncreative adults. What happened? What caused this mass massacre of creativity? Children are creative because they’re not afraid of being wrong, and that gives them the freedom to create. But then, parents tell their kids they have to be the best if they want to be happy. Professors, of course, only accept the right answers, and bosses fire you if you’re wrong – the whole of society conspires to scare the living death out of you! So you lose your creativity. I was a creative child who became a boring young adult, but luckily for me, I managed to recapture it through my work. And it didn’t happen overnight; it took years where each time I dealt with something a little crazy, I realized I got pleasure out of it. So how do you keep that inner child? Stop being scared of being wrong.


Story Credits

Text by Yong Wei Jian

Extra Flat: Richard Mille RM 67-01

Swiss watch firm Richard Mille made waves with the RM 016 Ultra Thin model in 2010 and the company is stirring things up for 2016 with the RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat. Now this new model, a pre-SIHH release, is based off the RM 010 so collectors will be familiar with it. The most obvious and salient point to note here is that this is the first tonneau-shaped wristwatch from Richard Mille to be offered in ultra-thin or extra-flat mode. This sets it apart from the aforementioned RM 016 and RM 33-01. More details, and crucially images, will be available at the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) which will be held in Geneva from January 18 to January 22, 2016.

What is known as of this moment is that the automatic watch is only 7.75mm thick and is powered by a skeletonized CRMA6 automatic movement (3.6mm thick). As far as we know, this is the slimmest Richard Mille watch yet and possibly the slimmest tonneau-shaped watch and movement, period. According to the press release, the calibre CRMA6 was created by in-house specialists, which we will certainly try to look into further at the SIHH itself. Briefly, RM 67-01 displays hours, minutes and the date and has a function indicator. The power reserve is 50 hours.


The view via the exhibition caseback looks amazing, revealing a very high degree of skeletonization on the barrel, the rotor, the gear train and the bridges of the automatic winding mechanism. This is even more impressive when one considers that the baseplate and the bridges are in grade 5 titanium and finished with an extroplasma treatment. While the press kit does not get into it, extroplasma may refer to plasma electrolytic oxidation, a process generating oxide coatings on metals that offers protection against wear and corrosion.

Dial-side, the date window is positioned at 5 o’clock in a vertical opening, complete with an outline in Luminova, while function indicator is located between 1 and 2 o’clock. This indicator makes it easy to see the winding, date setting and hand-setting positions of the crown.

The indices are made of metal and mounted on two linked and rigid titanium rails attached directly to the movement. Each index has been filled with Luminova for better legibility in the dark, which is a first for Richard Mille.


  • Dimensions: 38.7mm x 47mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, date, function indicator
  • Power reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Mechanical, ultra-thin, self-winding (platinum rotor), calibre CRMA6
  • Water resistance: 50 meters
  • Material: Titanium, with rubber strap

Yellow Fever: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak QP 2016

In advance of the big timepiece show in Geneva in 2016, Swiss watch manufacture Audemars Piguet has revealed a new Royal Oak model, a perpetual calendar in 18k yellow gold (the QP in our title refers to quantieme perpetuel, the traditional term for perpetual calendar). The mainstream press has found this sufficiently juicy to actually cover it, which is fairly remarkable. The in-house calibre powering the new watch is actually the self-winding calibre 5134, which was last featured in this very model, in stainless steel. Is this evidence of a new dawn for yellow gold in watchmaking? We will find out at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, Switzerland, from January 18 to January 22, 2016.

So, what if yellow gold were to storm back to prominence in the watch industry next year? Retailers in some parts of Asia might not appreciate this but, frankly, gold looks best in yellow and is self-explanatory; other types of gold don’t even look like gold! Audemars Piguet itself has never shied away from using other sorts of precious metals, including rose gold and white gold, and is even famous for its experiments in using carbon and alacrite in watch cases.

First launched in 1972, Audemars Piguet’s iconic Royal Oak watch was a bold move in stainless steel that was worked and polished like a precious metal; this revolution in the watchmaking industry gained the Le Brassus-based firm a reputation for progressive, even fearless, values in traditional watchmaking. Ironically, now the buzz for an Audemars Piguet novelty lies in the use of yellow gold, that most traditional of materials!


The new 41mm watch features a blue dial with a “Grande Tapisserie” pattern of three dimensional squares. It displays, via subdials, the month and leap year at 12 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock, day of the week at 9 o’clock, and the moon phase at 6 o’clock. The weeks of the year are marked on the rotating internal bezel.

On the dial, the applied hour markers and hands are in yellow gold, with a luminescent coating. The bracelet is also in 18k yellow gold with the Audemars Piguet folding clasp.

The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar has an exhibition caseback showing off calibre 5134, which has a power reserve of 40 hours.



  • Dimensions: 41mm x 9.5mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central sweep seconds, perpetual calendar, moon phase indicator
  • Power reserve: 40 hours
  • Movement: Mechanical, self-winding, calibre 5134
  • Water resistance: 20 meters (based the stainless steel version)
  • Material: 18k yellow gold, matching bracelet with Audemars Piguet folding clasp

Theater of Time: Harry Winston Opus 14

Revealed earlier this year, the Harry Winston Opus 14 is both insanely complicated and unbelievably simple. We will be looking more in-depth into this latest Opus in the upcoming issue of WOW in Singapore (and perhaps elsewhere in the world too) but ahead of that, we bring you a short introduction. In terms of functions, the watch is essentially a two timezoner with date and power reserve indicators. So, why does the manual winding calibre HW4601 have 1,066 components to achieve such prosaic results? The answer lies in the watch’s unique automaton, which mimics the workings of an object most people have never experienced, the jukebox.


The Opus 14 automaton is a massively complicated system of mobile disks, which can be manipulated by an arm, on demand. The jukebox, in fact, worked much like this. You would drop some coins in, select a song via some buttons and the machine would pull the appropriate record out of a stack and drop it into place, whereupon it played a single track. In the case of the Opus 14, the date and GMT displays are the ‘tracks’ available on demand; local time and both power reserve indicators (for the movement and for the automaton) are always displayed. A push-piece at 4 o’clock activates the automaton while a three-position lever at 9 o’clock enables the selection of displays.


Now to me, as a journalist, this is good fun and makes for great story fodder, for which this story is exhibit A (the forthcoming column is exhibit B). If a watch is something to interact with, to play with if you will, Opus 14 delivers. The novelty value is enormous. On the other hand, this is also a completely crazy timepiece with an undeniable frivolity about it. The third mobile disk emphasizes this aspect because it just shows a star with the signature of Mr Harry Winston; that is a lot of mechanical effort, with plenty of opportunities for something to go wrong, for no functional reason whatsoever.


Opus 14 will have value only to a very select group of collectors; most people will not even be able to appreciate the beauty of the engineering here and might even think it is a toy watch. Nevertheless, as far as that theatrical “vaudeville” value goes, it is beyond compare. One can only hope that watchmaking will always have place for crazy fun like this.



  • Dimensions: 54.7mm x 21.9mm
  • Functions: Hours by disk, minutes by retrograde hand, GMT by disk (on demand), calendar on disk (on demand), HW signature disk (on demand), animation power reserve by disk, movement power reserve by aperture
  • Power reserve: Timekeeping up to 68 hours; up to 5 back and forth motions on the animation function
  • Movement: Mechanical, manual-winding, dual-barrel, silicon balance spring, calibre HW4601
  • Water resistance: 30 meters
  • Material: 18k white gold

Cooptado Wins Longines Singapore Gold Cup

The Longines Singapore Gold Cup horse race concluded November 15 at the Singapore Turf Club, with Cooptado running away with the prize purse of SG$1.35 million. Jockey R. Shafiq and co-owner and trainer Patrick Shaw were also awarded Longines timepieces, in addition to the prize money; sadly Cooptado is unable to appreciate either money or time, being a horse. Nevertheless, the five-year-old gelding from Argentina certainly appeared to be enjoying a great day at the track, fending off a strong field of 15 other horses.


It was supposed to be Raffles Cup and Kranji Mile winner Stepitup’s day as the thoroughbred attempted to complete the Triple Crown by winning here but alas he ran out of steam; Stepitup finished a distant and disappointing ninth. The star watch model of the day was the Longines DolceVita, a reinterpretation of the watch first launched in 1997 by the Swiss watchmaking firm. The DolceVita is a quartz powered stainless steel watch (with some versions decorated with diamonds) in four sizes, all perfectly elegant and well suited to a day at the races, as they say.



10 Ways to Wear Asia on Your Wrist

The most sublime artistic watches of 2015 are replete with motifs dear to Asia. Our friends at WOW curated this list of the 10 best examples, featuring a showcase of artisanal techniques in watchmaking such as champlevé enamelling but also incorporating outside crafts such as Aka-e painting.


Travel back in time to ancient Kyoto with the 39.5mm Slim d’Hermès Koma Kurabe watch (pictured above), named after the famous millennial-old horse race at the Kamigamo Shrine. Fine French porcelain is further exalted with the Japanese art of Aka-e painting, under the expert brush of master Buzan Fukushima from Kutani in the Ishikawa Prefecture. One of the rare artisans who still practice this technique, Fukushima deftly paints on subtly graded shades of red and ochre, which he coats with a fine layer of gold before firing it three times. The watch also features the mechanical self-winding H1950 movement.

Jacquet Droz-r50


Honouring the Chinese Year of the Goat is this Petite Heure Minute Relief Goats, which features three goats carved out of white gold springing from the summit of an imaginary mountain. In the backdrop is a stylised dial evoking the motif of the plum blossom through champlevé enamelling of white and Jaquet Droz’s signature blue, with the finished result resembling an exquisite piece of Chinese paper cutting. 
This 41mm timepiece is endowed with a self-winding mechanical movement.



Also paying homage to the Chinese zodiac, the Altiplano Enamelled Cloisonné Goat watch displays the talent of world-renowned independent enamel artist Anita Porchet, who created this Grand Feu cloisonné enamel dial in soft shades of grey. The tones on the magnificent buck were painstakingly graded from intense to lighter nuances, while the ethereal background brings to mind a cloud-streaked sky over a mountain range. Housed within the 38mm watch is the Piaget 430P mechanical manual-winding movement.



A work of superlative savoir faire and craftsmanship, this Palais de la Chance Carpe Koï high jewelry bracelet watch is a tribute to Japanese culture, of which the koi is a symbol of love, life, and serenity. Requiring 3,450 hours of meticulous work, it is set with 8,000 colored stones that includes diamonds, spessartite garnets, and yellow sapphires for the body; black spinels for eyes; and Paraiba-like tourmalines and diamonds for the water motif. The bracelet of this watch, which is powered by a quartz movement, is unfastened by pressing on the koi’s tail.



Beautifully captured on the dial of the Lumières d’Eau Parure 11 watch is the elegance and grace of the carp, which in Chinese mythology is a symbol of success for its ability to transform into a dragon. It features four fish made of engraved yellow gold with blue sapphires for eyes, gliding across softly swirling water represented by a cream-colored lacquered dial set with brilliant diamonds for ripples. The long tails of the fish extend out over part of the bezel, the rest of which is set with 183 brilliant diamonds. The piece is powered by a Swiss mechanical self-winding movement.



The Hindu god of Ganesh is superbly immortalized on the dial of this Villeret Shakudo watch. Shakudo, which is a historical technique Japanese in origin, refers to an alloy principally composed of copper and gold that acquires a dark patina between blue and black. The 45mm timepiece also features engraving and damascening, which is another old technique that involves inlaying precious metals, in this case gold, into a base metal. It is endowed with the manual-winding Calibre 15B mechanical movement.

De Bethune-r50


Named after an ancient Mesoamerican feathered serpent, which is a deity of the summer winds and a protector of artisans, the DB25 Quetzalcoatl flaunts a solid gold dial sculpted by engraver Michèle Rothen. The head of the coiled snake at the center points to the hour, while its tail indicates the minutes. The hour markers resemble a series of temples viewed from the sky, while a circular guilloché motif makes the watch glow. Beating at the heart of this 44mm watch is the manual-winding Calibre DB2005.



The watchmaker’s legendary linear movement is paired up with a mythical creature, the dragon, to give us the audacious Golden Bridge Dragon. Immaculate hand-engraving work taking more than two weeks transforms a mold-poured piece of white gold into an incredibly detailed, three-dimensional piece of art. The dragon’s sinuous silhouette, which wraps around the movement without actually touching it, is covered with tiny depth-effect scales, and given impressive claws and a pearl-tipped tail. Encased within the 34mm x 51mm watch, with a bezel and lugs adorned with baguette diamonds, is the CO113 manual-winding movement.



The ancestral damascene technique is used on the dial of this Rotonde de Cartier 42mm to depict the amazingly life-like and detailed head of a majestic panther, which represents ferocity and strength to the Chinese. Wires in rose, yellow and white gold were hammered into troughs cut into a gold base, while the feline’s nose and spots 
were painted with black lacquer. Black onyx forms the background of the watch, which is equipped with the manual-winding mechanical movement 9601 MC.

Story Credits

Text by Yanni Tan

Illustrations by Irene Arifin

TAG Heuer Watches get Connected

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer finally revealed its Android-powered Connected smartwatch, alongside partners Intel and Google. From the announcement November 9, it retails now at US$1,500. Notably, this is the most serious smartwatch attempt yet from the Swiss, long acknowledged masters of watchmaking. We will be following the news about the Connected watch closely…


At a hefty 46mm, the grade 2 titanium timepiece certainly has more in common with chronographs and the like than it has with the current batch of smartwatches. For example, it has an aesthetic link with the TAG Heuer Carrera and TAG Heuer 01. The Connected watch totes a sapphire crystal touchscreen and can be paired with a choice of six rubber straps. Inside, the processor is the Intel Atom Z34XX running the Android Wear platform. It offers some functionality without any smartphone companion, using wifi to stay connected with the cloud.

As standard, the watch can switch between chronograph, world time, and three-hand dial modes, each of which displays against a black, blue or white background.

image (2)

For registered owners, the company will also provide additional watch faces, co-designed with celebrity brand representatives, as well as luxury lifestyle-related apps, including a restaurant recommendation engine and golfing app.

After a two year period, Connected owners are eligible to part-exchange their TAG Heuer Connected for a traditional mechanical watch, upon payment of an additional $1,500 sum.

image (1)

The Connected’s pricetag is only a fraction of the 18-Karat gold Apple Watch Edition, which has a current ceiling of $17,000, but retains parity with the upper end of Apple Watch’s $1,000 to $1,500 Hermès collaboration announced in September.

For those seeking a preview of the action, the video below illustrates how the changing of the watch faces works.

Most Expensive Watch in the World: Patek Philippe 5016

It is ironic that the world’s most expensive wristwatch (US$7.3 million) is now a stainless steel one-off model. The unique Patek Philippe 5016 high complication wristwatch fetched the record price when it went under the hammer in Geneva November 7, with the proceeds going to charity, according to the organizers of the Only Watch auction.

The watch, which had been listed with an asking price of only CHF700,000-900,000, had sold for CHF7.3 million Swiss francs (US$7.3 million, 6.7 million euros) after nine minutes of intense bidding by two anonymous telephone bidders, the Phillips auction house said.

That is “the highest price ever paid for a wristwatch at auction,” it said in a statement, adding that once the hammer fell the sale had been greeted by a standing ovation in the room at the luxury La Reserve Hotel in Geneva.

The Patek Philippe piece, with tourbillon, minute repeater and perpetual calendar with moon-phase display, was one of 44 unique timepieces created for the “Only Watch” auction by luxury watchmakers and jewellers, including Blancpain, Harry Winston, Piaget and Chanel. Connoiseurs will appreciate that ref. 5016 does not show the tourbillon dial-side and that the blue enamel dial actually features gold applique Breguet numerals.

In related news, the original photo for this story, compiled by the AFP, included an image of quite the wrong watch! By the looks of it, it appears to be a vintage Reference 5270 from Patek Philippe. Having in-house watch specialists is very handy!

A pink gold Patek Philippe Swiss bracelet-watch is displayed during a Sotheby's auction preview on November 12, 2008 in Geneva. The very rare pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon-phases expects to reach 860,820 to 1.291,230 Euros (USD 1.080,000 to 1.620,000) at a watches auction in Geneva on next November 16. AFP PHOTO/ FABRICE COFFRINI


Returning to Only Watch, in total, this year’s activities raked in US$11.2 million (10.3 million euros), Phillips said.

All the proceeds of the charity auction go towards research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a tragic muscle-wasting disease that occurs in roughly one in 3,500 males.

“This fantastic result will allow us to strengthen our efforts in targeting a cure for this severe disease,” said Luc Pettavino, head of the Monaco-based AMM association dedicated to finding a cure for the disease and founder of the “Only Watch” auction.

The auction is held every two years under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Reinventing Time: MB&F Presents the LM Perpetual

Welcome to the world of the LM Perpetual, the latest timepiece from our friends at MB&F presented to press in Singapore this week. Horological Machines are of course the mainstay of MB&F but the LM Perpetual is a Legacy Machine (hence the ‘LM’) and this basically means it is a round watch informed by the sensibilities of the early 20th century. Regardless, MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser often refers to his creations as kinetic sculptures and this one is no different…except when it is. Büsser himself admits that the perpetual calendar is not his favorite complication (he calls them “boomerang” watches because as soon as you sell one it comes back in with something broken).


Why would an independent producer of watches (guess what the ‘MB’ in MB&F stands for) decide to push out a complication its founder and chief creator is so ambivalent about? Well, Büsser tells us that this watch, unlike all other creations at MB&F, was the brainchild of Stephen McDonnell, the watchmaker responsible for developing the movement. In many ways, that will bring to mind the work Büsser did while at Harry Winston for the Opus series but we digress. The LM Perpetual is a true watchmaker’s watch, a labor of love that seeks to solve a particular challenge in watchmaking.


Those of you paying attention so far will figure this has to do with overcoming that ‘boomerang’ impression Büsser himself had. The Belfast-born, Oxford-educated theologian McDonnell made a believer of Büsser with his 581-part integrated manual winding movement, featuring a patent-pending mechanical processor. In simplified terms, the movement uses a 28-day base for each and allows for adding of days as determined by the aforementioned processor. As usual, not much is known about the mechanical processor as the patent is pending. We are happy to report from our own experience with the LM Perpetual that the perpetual calendar is adjusted via four pushers that do not require any special tools and that there is a safety system in place to cut off input from these pushers during the date-change phase of the night/morning. In fact, Büsser promises “no more skipping dates or jamming gears.”


The display itself is likewise a breeze to read, if a little challenging in terms of font size. Hours and minutes display via a subdial at 12 o’clock, framed by the arches of the suspended balance; day of the week at 3 o’clock, power reserve indicator (officially 72 hours) at 4 o’clock, month at 6 o’clock, retrograde leap year indicator at 7 o’clock, and date at 9 o’clock. As you can tell from the picture, this 44mm*17.5mm watch is very pretty indeed; it is available in 18k 5N red gold or platinum 950, both editions limited to 25 pieces.


Interview: Thierry Stern for Patek Philippe

It’s not easy being the president of such a venerated company as Patek Philippe, although one could say that Thierry Stern had been training his whole life for this role; one could even say he was born for it. He is a part of the family after all, and growing up in what must be the most revered of watchmaking institutions, it was almost impossible not to be impassioned by the craft. Our friends at WOW bring us this interview and story, as published in Singapore.

Upon completing his studies at the École de Commerce in Geneva, and then an accelerated program at the Watchmaking School of Geneva, Stern found himself at a fork in the road. He had to choose between pursuing further education and going straight into the business. Knowing full well that sitting in a classroom or an office all day is not his idea of work, with the blessing of his father, Stern made a beeline for the workforce.

He started out as an administrative employee with Patek Philippe and was dispatched to Germany where he spent two years working very closely with two large Patek Philippe retailers. This was when he picked up all the tricks of the retail trade and learned how to sell. After Germany, he flew across the Atlantic Ocean to the U.S. to work at one of the largest Patek Philippe subsidiaries, the Henri Stern Watch Agency in New York, where he was trained in sales, inventory management for bracelets and components, after-sales service, and business relations.

Next, Stern went into production by joining Ateliers Réunis SA, the company that made bracelets and cases for Patek Philippe, working alongside great watchmaking artisans and craftsmen. In 1997, he went back to the commercial side and took on the role of marketing manager for Patek Philippe in the Benelux region. Finally, he returned to the company headquarters in Geneva. From 1998 to 2003, he was responsible for product development and creation. Thereafter, he was ready to lead Patek Philippe alongside his father, until 2009 when the torch was officially passed to him.

It’s been six years since Thierry Stern ascended to the role of brand president of Patek Philippe. He took over the reins from his father, Philippe Stern, who is today the company’s honorary president. The older Stern had, in turn, succeeded his own father, Henri Stern, in 1993. Indeed, over the 83 years that the Stern family owned Patek Philippe, the company had always been passed down from father to son. Stern’s management style is thus not one that can be learned from books. It is only inherited from his predecessors and absorbed through sheer passion and intuition. Like this, Patek Philippe continues to be the strong, family-owned traditional watchmaker for generations.


The two faces of Grandmaster Chime Ref. 5175 (above and below)



Congratulations on the 175th anniversary of Patek Philippe as well as the beautiful collection that resulted from this commemoration. Can you share with us your thoughts on this major milestone?

On the one hand, it is a relief because after seven years of hard work, we finally could present the collection. It was a long process and when you work this long, you’ll be happy to present the results. Yet, at the same time, you’re a little sad. Something like this is unique and I would like to see it hopefully three times in my life. I witnessed the 150th anniversary, now I’m part of the 175th anniversary, and I hope I will be here for the 200th because that would definitely be my anniversary. To me, the 175th is the anniversary of my father because he’s the one who really led the company at the time.

Tell us more about process that led to the collection.

First, it’s never easy to work on something you have to wait seven years to present. You have to know the market very well. Our main objective was to think about what was really missing in the collection. I wasn’t simply going to break records in terms of number of complications. That’s something we already did with the Star Calibre, Calibre 89. So I spoke to my father. I asked him, “Do you think we should do something even more complicated or something different?” Without hesitation, he said we should do something different. He also said it should be done in a wristwatch this time. After analysing the collection and listening to the clients, we arrived at the concept of Grandmaster Chime.

How did you go about creating this watch?

This was a very complicated movement to realise. For us, we took on the challenge and I think it was quite fun because the first thing you have to establish is what you are willing and able to add to it. Of course we added complications, but we also wanted something new because when you do something like this, it’s important to show that while we are able to fabricate something complicated, we can also be creative. I think it’s very important for a brand to have ideas and not just redo things already existing in the time of pocket watches.



 Front and back views of Calibre GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM, the movement behind Ref. 5175


Did you meet any challenges along the way?

It was interesting because from the beginning we have been developing this watch with a single dial. About a year into the R&D, my father showed me a pocket watch perpetual calendar he had acquired for the museum. It was a very beautiful watch, very sober, very clean. And then he said the words, “By the way, I would like to add a perpetual calendar into the anniversary watch because it’s a beautiful complication.” (Laughs) I was stunned for a moment and of course I told him that it would change the whole project! He simply said, “Well, figure it out.” (Laughs)

How did you overcome this unique challenge?

To include a perpetual calendar, we cannot have a simple dial. That’s how we came upon the idea of a double-face watch. The only other way is to realise two watches, which was out of the question. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of working on a double-face watch because the difficulty is to make it simple for the client. You see, as a watchmaker you’re willing to do very complicated things, but you need to think for the person who’s wearing it. We looked two years for a good solution to manipulate the case and eventually found a way for the watch to be manipulated easily by taking the two lugs, bending them a little, and flipping it over with one finger. We patented it as soon as we were sure it works and I’m certain we will reuse it in the future.

What else stands out to you about this product?

I had also chosen to show the skill of Patek in terms of engraving. I think it’s a nice idea in terms of design. We can like it or not, people have a choice. Some customers told me it’s a nice piece, but they don’t like the engraving. Others say they love it. Well, it’s an anniversary piece. That’s why it has to be decorated like this. I chose a specific engraver to do the job. He is the one guy working on all seven pieces because this would also ensure consistency. I would rather have consistency and wait a little longer than be inconsistent just to have the products faster. Maybe people won’t notice it but for me, it’s important. That’s why we are a little bit late on the delivery. Of course, the engraver cannot be rushed, but I hope everything will be complete by the end of this year.



Close-up of Ref. 5175

Overall, how satisfied are you with this watch?

The only regret I have is not being able to have an enamel dial. This was not possible because all the dials you see are functional, so below the dial, there are a lot of technical elements. The dial needs to be thinner than normal so there’s no way we can decorate it with enamel because once you put it in the oven, it is going to move. We cannot have that. But it doesn’t matter. I still think the dial is very nice, and well, there are two of them.

Apart from commemorating the 175th anniversary of Patek Philippe, what was the philosophy going into the Grandmaster Chime?

My idea was to add new things. I think it’s important to have our DNA into it. That DNA can be in terms of design or movement techniques. We ended up with the alarm function that doesn’t just ring generically, but chimes the hours. This is quite easy to explain, but very hard to realise because you need to add a lot of different components. Second, something totally new is the date on demand. That’s also really nice because like a minute repeater, it chimes the date. It’s totally new, and a very nice idea to have. It was funny because at some point, I had to consciously stop talking about ideas because otherwise, we would never stop adding new functions.

Twenty complications and 1,366 components sounds like a whole lot.

I think the result is quite impressive because I’m always amazed to see all those parts work together. This is so difficult to do, but when you have the technology and experience, and the right people, everything is possible. You have to believe in what you’re doing. You have to follow a line. And I think that’s really what makes Patek Philippe strong. We have a very clean and clear strategy. We know what we are willing to do, so it was easy for me in one sense. To me, the most impressive thing is not only the technology we’ve been using, but also the fact that we are using both vintage and high-tech machines. If you’re only using vintage technology, I don’t think you can really evolve, and you’ll be a bit dusty in the end. If you’re only using new technology, then you’ll make iWatches, which are interesting, but not something that can stay, not mechanical. This mix is something that always attracts me. It’s the same for my father and his before him. We always add both tradition and technology.


World Time Ref. 5131 with enamel dial



Ref. 5275P-001 with chiming jump hour

But where do you draw the line?

I think that’s difficult to say. It’s part of the education that I had growing up in this family. I know there’s a line I cannot cross. Where? I cannot say because there is no book. It’s all by instinct.

What was the most surprising thing about the entire process, across all seven years, of producing the Grandmaster Chime?

At the beginning of the project, there were maybe 200 people knowing about it. Every year, you could add another 100. At the end, there were 1,000 people involved, but the amazing thing was that nobody spoke about it to anyone outside of the project. People have tried to search the Internet for what we were doing for the 175th anniversary, but there was nothing at all. This was, for me, the most fantastic part. When you’re able to do this, especially these days with the Internet when nothing is secret, you know you have a good company and the people trust you. I’m still amazed by it today. I didn’t make anyone sign non-disclosure contracts, but everybody knew. Even today we talk about this. It was the best part of the project. An amazing effort. Our people believed in it and are willing to keep the surprise for the customers.

If confidentiality was not an issue, what were your main concerns about the collection’s launch?

It was a tough period for me because I had to work on three collections simultaneously. There was the 2014 collection, the anniversary collection, and I had to prepare for 2015. Since the beginning, I knew I would have to be very strong also in 2015, because everybody would be thinking that Patek Philippe did a great job for the anniversary collection, so the following year, we would be tired and present nothing new at BaselWorld.

Do you think the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time achieved that for you?

To be frank, this was a watch I did on the corner of the table, so to speak, when I had a little bit of time. I had some spare time, so I did it. (Laughs)


Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524

So which novelty this year was the main highlight for you?

For me, it is the Ref. 5370. I was really surprised that people talked so much about the pilot’s watch. It was a product that we did because it was fun and a pilot’s watch is cool. I’m amazed. It’s crazy. Of course, people either like it or they do not. That’s why it’s fun with this watch. You see, it’s always important to surprise people. I can totally understand that some people don’t like it, but it was the same with the Aquanaut at the time, the same with the Nautilus, which was during my dad’s time. I think it’s our duty to surprise and do something new. I was also amazed when some people said that the pilot’s watch is not Patek Philipe. But how can they say that when I had created it? And I’m pretty sure I’m inside the DNA of Patek Philippe.

But you must agree that it is not exactly a Calatrava in the purest sense of the collection?

We put it in the Calatrava because I didn’t see anything bad in doing so. There really wasn’t any complicated strategy behind it. I didn’t want to launch a pilot’s watch line because it’s not a field I should go into. This was just one shot, just to show I am able to do something different. Maybe in the future, there will be different models, but even that I’m not so sure of. That’s why I didn’t want to set anything in stone. You know, I often have questions like these about Patek Philippe myself. Sometimes when I look at our archives, I ask, “Why did they choose things like this… or why did they do something like that? What was the logic behind?” My father would look at me and say, “But it’s not about logic.” Think simple, he always says. Don’t complicate things. So that’s how we do it.

Story Credits

Text and interview by Celine Yap

TAG Heuer builds floating tennis court, Sharapova tries it

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer put on a show of its “Don’t crack under pressure” values with tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and Singapore’s first floating tennis platform. The Luxuo team gathered at Clifford Pier to witness the spectacle and we were not disappointed. Sharapova is of course a TAG Heuer ambassador and, from her arrival via boat to an exhibition match with tennis great Michael Chang and an entertaining stunt with speed painting artist Michael Raivard, she gave her fans a night to remember. Sharapova also played a part in the evening’s more serious business, a charity drive for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 22: Maria Sharapova (C) arrives by boat during the Maria Sharapova Exhibition Match at Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel on October 22, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images For TAG Heuer) *** Local Caption *** Maria Sharapova

Sharapova arrives by boat during the Maria Sharapova Exhibition Match at Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel on October 22, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images For TAG Heuer)

In a game of mixed doubles – with Sharapova and Chang paired with local tennis players Angeline Devi Devanthiran, 19, and Shaheed Alam, 17 – TAG Heuer pledged a hefty $100 per rally so the stakes were high. The massive 181-rally certainly delivered for both the charity and the audience, resulting in a $18,100 cheque for the Foundation. “History is written in moments of adversity and in the superhuman will to overcome. That will exists not just in sport, but in everyday life, especially in the boys and girls of the Make-A-Wish Foundation who remain strong in the face of illness,” said Luc Decroix, Vice President of Global Sales, TAG Heuer. The evening also had a genuine tugs-on-hearstrings moment as 8-year-old Joshua Ong, who suffers from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, took to the court to present Sharapova with the new TAG Heuer Limited Edition SG50 Aquaracer; his wish was to meet a sports superstar and his wish certainly came true…

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 22: A general view of the Singapore's first ever floating tennis platform built by Tag Heuer ahead of the WTA Finals at Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel on October 22, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images For TAG Heuer)

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 22: A general view of the Singapore?s first ever floating tennis platform built by Tag Heuer ahead of the WTA Finals at Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel on October 22, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images For TAG Heuer)

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 22: Maria Sharapova (C) reacts during the speed serve challenge of the Maria Sharapova Exhibition Match at Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel on October 22, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images For TAG Heuer) *** Local Caption *** Maria Sharapova

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 22: Eight-year-old Joshua Ong (C), who suffers from non-Hodgkin lymphoma presents a TAG Heuer limited edition SG50 Aquaracer?to Maria Sharapova (L) as Amelia Sillard, VP, TAG Heuer South East Asia looks on during the Maria Sharapova Exhibition Match at Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel on October 22, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images For TAG Heuer) *** Local Caption *** Maria Sharapova; Amelia Sillard; Joshua Ong

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 22: Speed painting artist, Michael Raivard (L) high-five with Maria Sharapova after the speed painting contest infused with gold dust during the Maria Sharapova Exhibition Match at Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel on October 22, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images For TAG Heuer) *** Local Caption *** Maria Sharapova; Michael Raivard

16 Ways to Bring Fun to Luxury Watches

It’s time to add some color to your watch collection – luxury doesn’t always have to be understated. Here are 16 watches, in four categories, that our friends at WOW (World of Watches) have curated that will do the trick.

Just a Hint

This is where the adage that less is more holds sway. With the right hue and application, a dash of color is sometimes all that is necessary, whether to demarcate different functions or to highlight specific parts of a watch.


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver: This iteration of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver has a utilitarian slant that reinforces the collection’s tool watch DNA, beginning with a scratch-resistant case and bezel of black ceramic. A matching black dial maintains the serious vibes, while also adding a touch of class with its méga tapisserie guilloché – an Audemars Piguet signature. The crucial parts that divers rely on underwater have been highlighted orange here – the running second hand indicates that the watch is working, while the minute hand and 15-minute section of the inner bezel mark elapsed time underwater. (Price unavailable)


Rado Hyperchrome Automatic Chronograph Court Collection: Blue-on-black isn’t the best combination for legibility, since the former doesn’t pop on the latter. Rado overcame this limitation on the Hyperchrome Automatic Chronograph Court Collection by finishing the watch’s dial with a subtle sunray texture, thus accentuating the contrast between the two colours. Blue wasn’t chosen frivolously – it represents the hard court surface tennis is played on, just like how its siblings’ orange and green accents mirror clay and grass courts respectively. An ETA 2894-2 chronograph movement drives the watch, encased in a monobloc black ceramic case with stainless steel inserts. ($6,170)


Breitling Chronomat 44 Raven: Despite having a black dial encased in Breitling’s “black steel” case, the Chronomat 44 Raven is far from a stealthy watch. That isn’t a concern anyway, since the Raven is a pilot chronograph, which places a far higher premium on legibility. The latter is achieved by rendering the watch’s hands, indexes, bezel markings, and inner flange in bright orange, to make telling the time and using the chronograph a cinch. Of course, due attention has been paid to accuracy – the Raven packs Breitling’s chronometer-grade Calibre 01. ($13,840)


Raymond Weil Freelancer: This self-winding chronograph maintains the classic, understated styling that’s central to Raymond Weil’s DNA, but asserts its masculine and sporty side with subtle detailing. Note the watch’s industrial look with the screw bolting down the small seconds sub-dial, or the altimeter-esque date window that recalls a flight instrument panel. Red highlights set against a black and steel dial complete the package – both visually and functionally – by distinguishing the chronograph function from the rest of the watch, right down to the tachymeter’s markings. ($4,330)


Dial It Up

There’s nothing subtle about flooding the dial with a single vivid hue. Watches like these aren’t just easily recognised at a distance – they’re also bold statements that will be visible from across the room. Only the confident need apply.


Victorinox I.n.o.x. (pictured above): Built to mark the 130th anniversary of Victorinox, the I.N.O.X. (inox is French for stainless steel) is the timekeeping counterpart to the Swiss Army knives the brand manufactures, and meant to complement it as a “companion for life”. To that end, the watch had to pass a battery of 130 tests, including spending two hours in a washing machine and being driven over by a 64-ton tank. Numerous little details contribute to the watch’s toughness, from the slightly recessed sapphire crystal to having stamped – not applied – indexes. A simple, no-nonsense dial design emphasises the watch’s pedigree, with a blue dial and matching strap complementing this. ($719)


Luminox Scott Cassell UVP Special Edition: Luminox’s partnership with Scott Cassell continues with the UVP Special Edition. Part of this watch’s sales proceeds will go towards funding UVP (Undersea Voyager Project), a non-profit organisation founded by Cassell that is dedicated to ocean health. The watch’s 44mm case is made of carbon-reinforced polycarbonate, which imparts an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. A yellow dial with black hands and indices impart legibility, and a matching canvas strap completes the look. ($674.10)


JeanRichard Aeroscope Arsenal: Arsenal Football Club’s fans can wear their hearts proudly on their wrists by donning the Aeroscope Arsenal, its official watch. The timepiece features the Gunners’ cannon in lieu of a hand for its small seconds sub-dial, and uses the club’s color liberally. Red is an extremely striking colour in and of itself. When paired with black, it pops even more to grab one’s attention. From the honeycombed dial to the tachymeter markings on the bezel to the pushers’ detailing, the color ensures the watch’s prominence. (Price unavailable)


Seiko Automatic Divers Watch: This is the revised version of the Seiko diver watch commonly (and reverently) referred to as the Orange Monster. The “second generation Orange Monster” updates the original in several areas, including new shark-tooth shaped indexes and a simplified chapter ring. Its 4R36 movement is arguably the biggest change – unlike the original, the new watch can now be both hacked and hand-wound. The new calibre retains Seiko’s bidirectional Magic Lever winding system for efficiency though. Despite the availability of other colorways for the watch, Seiko enthusiasts still consider the Orange Monster a rite of passage. Clearly, not all colors are created equal. ($593.90)

Mix & Match

Playful. Technical. Rebellious. Whimsical. Avant-garde. The design approaches in response to having a larger palette are as varied as the colors themselves. Results too, run the gamut from what are literally art pieces to serious, sporty watches.


Hublot Classic Fusion Enamel Britto: Brazilian artist Romero Britto is known for his colorful works melding Cubism, pop art, and graffiti painting. His partnership with Hublot is of little wonder then, given the latter’s penchant for the “art of fusion”. The Classic Fusion Enamel Britto’s dial reproduces one of Britto’s artworks in miniature via grand feu enamel, with the 45mm Classic Fusion case in black ceramic serving as the painting’s frame. This timepiece is a 50-piece limited edition. ($59,700)


Romain Jerome Pac-Man Level II 40 Colours: The landmark arcade game returns! This homage to Pac-Man comes complete with eight-bit renderings of the game’s titular character, his adversary ghosts, and the strawberry power-ups needed to defeat them. Although the background is a drab monotone, no attention to detail has been spared – the “stage” is three-layered, and each one has either been bead-blasted or straight-grained to contrast with the lacquered sprites mounted on the dial. Housed in a 40mm case, this reference has a limited run of just 20 pieces. ($24,800)


Alexander Shorokhoff Miss Avantgarde: Words like “edgy” or “free-spirited” cannot adequately describe the Miss Avantgarde, what with its loud and flashy dial that uses color with seemingly no pattern. There is a method to Alexander Shorokhoff’s madness though. The time can actually be read easily as each design element is confined to a specific section of the watch. Colors have also been compartmentalized to avoid an overly busy dial, while the hands are white for maximum contrast. (Price unavailable)


Graham Chronofighter Oversize GMT: The Chronofighter Oversize GMT has a busy dial with red, blue, and white accents on a background of black. This is mirrored on the watch’s exterior, with its massive 47mm case sporting an equally colorful combination of steel, red gold, and black PVD surfaces. Interestingly, the chronograph, large date, and GMT complications haven’t been sorted by color. Instead, every part of the watch takes on its specific hues for maximum contrast – note how the bezel uses red gold against blue while the main dial has white against black instead. ($16,400)

Material Play

Paints and coatings aren’t the be all and end all for achieving colours that pop in a watch. Materials that are inherently brightly colored can do the same, and lend their unique textures to boot. Stones, glass, and even liquids? Bring them all on.


HYT H1 Azo Project: No, it isn’t kryptonite. The H1 Azo Project’s florescent case is made of azo polyepoxide, a resin with exceptional scratchproof properties despite being much lighter than comparable materials like steel. Its color is, of course, a perfect match for the liquids encased in the watch’s fluid module – one has been colored a darker shade of green, while the other remains transparent. The hours are then read off the tip of what looks like an advancing column of liquid. ($95,000)


Hermès Arceau Millefiori: From straw marquetry to Japanese miniature painting on porcelain, Hermès has incorporated various crafts into watchmaking. The Arceau Millefiori focuses on glass art, specifically millefiori (a thousand flowers), where colored crystal canes are arranged to form various motifs before being sealed with transparent crystal. The technique is adapted here by cutting the finished product into thin slices and using them as dials. ($61,600)


Ulysse Nardin Marine Perpetual: At first sight, the blue sapphires on the bezel are immediately apparent, and serve as the highlight of the Marine Perpetual. Upon closer inspection, however, the bezel itself is revealed to be atypical – it’s made of rubber, and the sapphires are set directly into it. The technique, dubbed “soft stone in the sky”, is revolutionary for setting gems in a soft material, and parallels the manufacture’s perpetual calendar movement, which allows forward and backward adjustments via just the crown. ($59,400)


Bell & Ross BR 03 Red Radar: Bell & Ross’s timepieces are inspired by cockpit instruments but said instruments were never just confined to dials with hands and indexes. One outlier was the BR 03 Red Radar, which took the world by storm upon its release, and remains frequently cited as a milestone product for the brand. In lieu of hands, three black concentric discs are mounted to the movement, with a red mineral glass crystal sealing the watch. The result? A watch that displays the time like a radar screen. ($S$6,700)


Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

Photography by Raymond Lee

Art direction and styling by Tok Wei Lun

5 Watches Bringing High Fashion to Your Wrist

Fashion watches bear their houses’ codes to match technical brilliance with sartorial splendor. Our thanks to the team at Men’s Folio Singapore for putting together this spread to inspire us.


Dior Chiffre Rouge A02 in stainless steel with bracelet; Dior Homme Cotton shirt, wool suit, pressed flower badges, silk bow tie


Gucci G-Timeless in steel with NATO strap, cotton shirt, wool pants, leather belt, assorted metal rings, wool beret


Louis Vuitton Escale Time Zone in steel with alligator strap, wool blend print jacket


Givenchy Seventeen Titanium Automatic Edition in titanium with NATO strap, silk blend print shirt, wool print pants


Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar in rose gold with alligator strap, cotton shirt, cotton blend jumpsuit, wool turtleneck jumper


Photography by Joel Low; Styling by Tok Wei Lun

Grooming: Benedict Choo using M.A.C cosmetics

Model: Erlend /  Mannequin


Apple Watch Hermes

The Apple Watch Hermès is now available

Apple Watch Hermes

After teasing the collaboration last month, Apple has released the Hermès edition of its watches in select stores across North America.

The tie-in adds a touch of French luxury to the latest technological gadgetry. The amped-up version of the Apple Watch features a leather band and sports the Hermès logo on the watch face.

Bands are available as single or double tour, and as a cuff.

The watches are being sold at stores in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Toronto. Prices start at $1,100.

Apple Watch Hermes Double Tour

Omega Seamaster Bullhead Rio 2016

Omega Seamaster Bullhead “Rio 2016” Limited Edition

Omega Seamaster Bullhead Rio 2016

As the world’s greatest athletes prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Omega has unveiled a second new timepiece as part of the “Rio 2016″ collection (the Speedmaster Rio Mark II “Rio 2016″ was unveiled last year).

Already a distinctive watch because of its unique case shape and dual crown placement, the Bullhead “Rio 2016″ is further differentiated by a blue leather strap with multi-coloured stitching in yellow, green, red and black.

Representing the famous Olympic rings, this color theme is continued on the rotating inner-bezel to convey the unity that the rings signify.

Omega Seamaster Bullhead Rio 2016 caseback

First released in 1969, the Bullhead style was once used by rally drivers to time their laps. Now, the spirit of speed and precision will merge seamlessly into Olympic history.

The watch is cased in steel, with Omega’s automatic mechanical co-axial chronograph Caliber 3113 inside. Only 316 pieces will be produced.

Nelson Mandela watch Hublot

Nelson Mandela tribute watch from Hublot

Nelson Mandela watch Hublot

Hublot is celebrating the legacy of South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader Nelson Mandela with a special-edition watch.

In collaboration with the House of Mandela foundation, the Swiss watch brand has unveiled the Classic Fusion House of Mandela watch.

The timepiece is crafted with 18k king gold, a red-gold alloy, and finished with a semi-matte black alligator strap. The 45mm case bears subtle tributes to Mandela throughout.

His signature appears on the bezel between 12 and 1 o’clock, and the dial features the Mandela family sigil, a bee with its wings outstretched into tree branches, representing the Mandela family tree.

Nelson Mandela watch

The bee is also a nod to Mandela’s Xhosa name, Rolihlahla, which means “he who is brave enough to fetch honey from the honeycomb”, a metaphor for challenging the status quo.

The outline of South Africa appears as a window to the watch’s inner mechanics on the caseback, atop which is Mandela’s handprint.

Part of the watch’s $30,900 price tag will be donated to the House of Mandela, an organisation dedicated to continuing Mandela’s human rights initiatives as well as supporting the education of underpriviliged South African children, though it might set some eyebrows furrowing from the disparity between flashy extravagence and a noble cause.

Via mens-folio.com – the watch can be purchased here.

Jeff Williams

Apple launches Hermès Watch

Jeff Williams

Apple Inc. and Hermès International announced Wednesday that they have created a new version of Apple’s smartwatch.

The watch, which will go on sale Oct. 5, will marry bands made in Hermès’ signature leather with a specially designed user interface.

The Hermès watch will have a choice of three bands with the stainless steel face: a single leather loop, a double loop and a cuff. The double loop only comes with the 38mm face, while the thicker cuff only has the 42mm version. The bands are available in several colors of leather. The price will range from $1,100 to $1,500.

Apple Watch Hermes

To display the time, Apple adapted three fonts Hermès has long used in its watches. When the watch face displays the Hermès user interface, neither the Apple name nor logo is visible.

For Apple, the Hermès watch is its latest move to embrace luxury.

It has been courting the fashion industry, hiring famed designer Marc Newson and executives from Burberry and Yves Saint Laurent, all of whom participated in the conception of the watch.


SIHH 2016

Nine Independent Watchmakers to Join SIHH 2016 in Geneva

SIHH 2016

Nine independent brands have joined the upcoming edition of the SIHH while one brand is leaving the fold of standing exhibitors.

The 2016 edition of the SIHH sees Christophe Claret, De Bethune, H. Moser & Cie, Hautlence, HYT, Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, MB&F, and Urwerk exhibiting at the first big watch show of the year.

The booths of the nine new exhibitors will be in a “salon within the salon” boasting approximately 1,500 square meters of exhibition space. This space was previously used by Ralph Lauren, who is leaving the SIHH to concentrate its resources on the U.S. market.

These independent brands will join the roster of 15 Richemont and invited brands which already includes A.Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Greubel Forsey, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai, Parmigiani, Piaget, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Van Cleef & Arpels and Vacheron Constantin.

The 26th edition of Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) will be held from January 18th until 22nd 2016.